Are you familiar with the Custom Reports feature in Google Analytics? If you are not here is a great introduction for you to help you understand the perks of it and what you can do with it inside of Google Analytics. If you are familiar with GA Custom Reports, you will know that you can leverage this tool to help better streamline your Analytics reports and further see the things you need to see to improve your sites performance.
There are several things you can use the Custom Reports feature for. This article from the Google Analytics Blog further dives into these uses. In this article I want to walk you through the 5 custom reports I use for this blog and others that I manage, to get data quickly and efficiency as it specifically applies to my blogging efforts. With each report explanation I have included 2-3 screen shots. The first screen shot shows you how I created the report using the GA Custom Reports interface. The 2nd and sometimes 3rd screenshots show you what the actual report looks like in Google Analytics.
1. Best Time to Blog Report
When is the best time for you to actually publish a blog post? There are so many theories and best practices being thrown around but the fact of the matter is that it’s different for every blog. This report shows you what time of the day your blog gets the most visits.
2. New Visitors % by Page Title Report
This report quickly gives you data on two specific things. What posts are generating the most new visitors and what posts are generating the most returning visitors. This data will provide a few important actions for you to take. If a blog post gets a high percentage of new visitors you can ask yourself, “what can I don on this blog post that will help me retain these visitors?” If a blog post gets a high percentage of returning visitors you can ask yourself, “what questions am I not answering that are forcing users to continue to come back to this blog post?”
3. Page Title –> Keyword Report
This report has more to do with convenience than anything. From this report you can quickly view the top visited Blog Posts on your blog and by clicking (drilldown) you can view the top keywords that generated traffic for that post.
4. Best time to Tweet Report
Just like with the best time to blog report mentioned earlier, there are many theories and so called best practices talked about on the web as to when you should “tweet” to generate the most buzz/traffic to your blog. Instead of relying on someone else’s opinion, rely on your own data. This report will help you with that as well as help you learn at what time’s of the day other traffic sources like Digg and Stumbleupon are pushing traffic your way.
5. Landing Page Sources & Keywords Report
This is another Drilldown report created for convenience for bloggers. Landing pages are pages that visitors are first entering to get to your blog. There is a ton of conversion optimization testing that you can do on these pages to test their effectiveness. This report allows you to quickly view your top landing pages, each of their to traffic sources, and each of their top keywords if the source was a search engine.
Some Final Thoughts
The custom reports feature for Google Analytics is one of my favorite features. There are so many things you can do with this little tool and to imagine it’s free is crazy to think of. I hope you find these custom reports useful for you in your blogging efforts. If you have any ideas for custom reports please share them in the comment thread so we can all learn from them.